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A-Level Maths/Further Maths units

Discussion in 'Mathematics' started by pwc9000, May 5, 2011.

  1. pwc9000

    pwc9000 New commenter

    I have posted on this topic before and received some usfeul replies but now that I am a bit more certain about things for Sept one problem remains which I am not sure how to solve.
    Some background that may be relevant:
    - we are a large non-selective school in an authority with 11+ selection
    - we have a rapidly expanding sixth form along with which the Maths take up is increasing
    In recent years our A-Level offer has been C1,C2,S1 in Yr12 and C3,C4,M1 in Yr13 - and I like this combination. There is no flexibility to offer any choice of applications units.
    In September we will be running Further Maths for the first time. The FM pupils will be part of the main Maths group and then separately have FM lessons.
    I would like our Yr12 Maths to remain C1,C2,S1 and would ideally like to offer M1,D1,FP1 for Yr12 FM as I think this would maximise success at AS-Level.
    The problem then comes with what to offer for Yr13 FM as I would like our Maths offer to remain C3,C4,M1 in Yr13.
    So what is the best solution?
    Do I keep it all the same and accept that Yr13 FM will require 4 units with some private study time gained from Maths lesson when M1 is being taught?
    Do I change what we do for single A-Level pupils?
    Do I change what I have suggested above for Yr12 FM?
    I am really not sure of the best way to go.
     
  2. pwc9000

    pwc9000 New commenter

    I have posted on this topic before and received some usfeul replies but now that I am a bit more certain about things for Sept one problem remains which I am not sure how to solve.
    Some background that may be relevant:
    - we are a large non-selective school in an authority with 11+ selection
    - we have a rapidly expanding sixth form along with which the Maths take up is increasing
    In recent years our A-Level offer has been C1,C2,S1 in Yr12 and C3,C4,M1 in Yr13 - and I like this combination. There is no flexibility to offer any choice of applications units.
    In September we will be running Further Maths for the first time. The FM pupils will be part of the main Maths group and then separately have FM lessons.
    I would like our Yr12 Maths to remain C1,C2,S1 and would ideally like to offer M1,D1,FP1 for Yr12 FM as I think this would maximise success at AS-Level.
    The problem then comes with what to offer for Yr13 FM as I would like our Maths offer to remain C3,C4,M1 in Yr13.
    So what is the best solution?
    Do I keep it all the same and accept that Yr13 FM will require 4 units with some private study time gained from Maths lesson when M1 is being taught?
    Do I change what we do for single A-Level pupils?
    Do I change what I have suggested above for Yr12 FM?
    I am really not sure of the best way to go.
     
  3. Are you doing the OCR (MEI) specification? If you are, the Numerical Methods unit would be useful as it is a further unit but AS standard:

    ...........Y12........... / ...........Y13..........
    M....= C1 C2 S1.... / C3 C4 M1
    FM..= NM D1 FP1. / S2 D2 FP2

    That way, the six maths units* can be co-taught to maths and further maths students.
    (* Whether the units end up counting for the qualification they are listed next to depends on the UMS scored)
    Kevin
    OCR GCSE Maths
     
  4. (For S2 D2, read also "M2 D2 / M2 S2 / S2 S3 / M2 M3")
     
  5. (or FP3!)
     
  6. pwc9000

    pwc9000 New commenter

    I knew I'd forget something
    We use Edexcel
     
  7. pwc9000

    pwc9000 New commenter

    but reading your post makes me wonder Kevin
    I am not familiar with OCR (MEI) but maybe I should be


     
  8. Another option worth thinking about then is doing the MEI for further and sticking with Edexcel for maths, which would open up the extra AS further unit, and keeping M1 in Y13 for all.
    The downside of splitting specs between maths and further is that applied units would be 'fixed' to their qualifications, ie you can't swap an Edexcel M1 result for an MEI D1 result. (And there's a form for your Exams Officer to fill in to say which units are being done with which board.)
    The spec etc is all here. There is a coursework task with the numerical methods unit (to investigate a problem suitable for numerical solution, using techniques from the spec for that unit); Stella Dudzic at MEI is always happy to help new schools get started with it - and the MEI website and Further Maths Support Programme website both have lots of useful info.
    (I also forgot to mention a few special units in the MEI specification: Differential Equations, Numerical Computation and Decision Computation).
     
  9. TBH the FP1 edexcel is not very hard.
    I can see an advantage of nowing some C2 trig for FP1 but TBH there is no real depth to anything other than FP2 and FP3 which are note reuired for AS
    For the Full A2 FM and standard A level maths on 12 units................
    IMO for edexcel the calculus from C3 and C4 must be nailed prior to FP2/FP3. I dont thinkyou can start FP2 alongside C3 from my own experience
    For FP1 trig from C2 can be handy.
    IMO
    Year 12: Core 1-4 and two applied or FP1
    Year 13: FP2/FP3 and FP1 and 3 applied
     
  10. We follow WJEC and teach

    Y12: C1, C2, M1 (FP1, M2, M3)
    Y13: C3, C4, S1 (FP2, FP3, S2)

    Those in brackets are the additional Further Mathematics modules. This particular combination works very well for us
     
  11. pwc9000

    pwc9000 New commenter

    Thanks for your thoughts Betamale but I can't do what you suggest because the FM pupils are not completely separate from Maths only pupils.
     
  12. pwc9000

    pwc9000 New commenter

    Do you do any exams in January of Year 12?
    And do you find the pupils struggle at all with going back to Statistics in Year 13 having not done any for a year?

     
  13. headofmaths

    headofmaths New commenter

    I agree that a seperate FM class is ideal but I have taught EDEXCEL alongside AS/A2 Maths.
    I suggest C1, C2, S1 (Maths) M1, S2, FP1 (Further Maths) S1 and FP1 can be started before S1/C2 are finished but you need to think about the order that modules are taken,
    then C3, C4, D1 (Maths) M2, M3, FP2 (Further Maths)
    Again you need to think about the order you teach C3,C4 (ie do the calculus early, leave the vectors till last or even teach all the C3, C4 before doing D1) as FP2 relies heavily on C3 and )especially) C4.
    If you are set on doing M1 in Maths then you could do
    C1, C2, S1 (Maths) D1, S2, FP1 (Further Maths)
    then C3, C4, M1(Maths) S3, S4/M2, FP2 (Further Maths)
    or
    C1, C2, M1(Maths) D1, M2, FP1 (Further Maths)
    then C3, C4, S1(Maths) M3, M4/S2, FP2 (Further Maths)

     
  14. Can I ask how you organise your sets according to this type of arrangement? Do you set your pupils? How can a student who does not study further maths do S2?
    Our current set up is C1/C2 and S1 in Year 12 and FP1/D1 and M1 for Further Maths. C3/C4 and S2 normal Maths and FP2/FP3/M2 A2 Further Maths. We have a bigger cohort next year and I would like to offer more choice in the application modules for normal Maths students.
     
  15. It doesn't tend to be an issue that they have not seen any stats since year 11 - the pupils usually pick it up again quite quickly. As another post mentions, it is a very do-able module. I agree that it is not ideal that the pupils sit FP2/3 at the same time as C4 and it can be difficult to teach certain sections. We follow WJEC and generally speaking given the right amount of practice of the "hard sums", as my class call them, the pupils cope well with the requirements of FP2.

    To give the detail requested:

    The plan that we follow is that A Level students sit M1 in January and C1/2 in the summer of year 12 and in year 13, C3/S1 in the January and C4 in the summer.

    In addition to these Further Maths students take FP1 in January of Year 12 and M2/M3 in the summer. In year 13 they sit FP2/FP3/S2 in the summer.

    We are allocated 10 per fortnight for A Level Maths and an additional 7 hours per fortnight for Further Maths. This usually means that from time to time we have to use our lunchtimes or after school to deliver the course.
     
  16. Piranha

    Piranha Lead commenter

    We have about 3 S1 groups and 1 M1 group in Year 12. In Year 13, the same groups apply, and they are given a choice of the S2 or M1 if they did S1 in year 12, or vice versa. It does mean some independent work while the others are studying the other module. This is not ideal, but it does allow them to specialise in Stats or Mechanics if that suits their degree aspirations.
     
  17. Parts of this thread once again show that education is not a level playing field yet we are all judged against our results on the basis that the rules are the same for every school.

    How am I supposed to compete with schools offering 10 hours for A level and 7 hours for Further when we are only timetabled 8 hours and 4 hours respectively, with A level classes of up to 26 ?

    I am proud of our results but can only dream of what they might be if I had so much more time.

    Our studnets do eiher S1 or M1 in year 12 followed by S2 or M2 in year. 13.Further attend both the S and M classes then do FP 1 and D 1 in year 12 followed by FP2 and NM in year 13.

    We have 48 sstudents in year 12 but only 8 are doing Further because of timetabling clashes.
     
  18. It seems very tight that you are allocated only 8 hours for A Level Maths. Is it the same across all A Level subjects? 10 hours per fortnight is the standard allocation for all A Level courses at my school (which is comprehensive incidentally) and we are lucky to be given 7 hours for Further Maths. Next year it looks as though it will be cut to 6 hours despite our protestations that it is an A Level in its own right and deserves the same timetabling. In year 12 we have 4 classes of about 22 taking A Level Maths with 18 taking Further and in year 13 the numbers do not change much - perhaps 1 or 2 drop Further Maths. We are given the impression by our "family cluster" of schools that we are failing because we do not have a greater uptake of Further Maths!
     
  19. Anjabe1

    Anjabe1 New commenter

    Hi
    just wondering what you did in the end? We are facing the same issue and I am in need of some advice. Currently using Edexcel and can't afford to change exam boards...

    Would be grateful for any words of wisdom
     
  20. pwc9000

    pwc9000 New commenter

    If this question is aimed at me as the OP then we have done the following:

    Year 12 Maths - C1 C2 S1

    Year 12 Further Maths - FP1 M1 S2

    Year 13 Maths - C3 C4 D1

    Year 13 Further Maths - FP2 M2 S3
     

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